Not Another New Year’s Resolution Post
New Year’s Resolutions are a tried and trite trope. When our planet returns to its arbitrarily determined starting point in its orbit around the sun we decide to start anew and resolve to do things that we quit, failed, or forgot to do in the past year. New years symbolically have a tether in our brains to new beginnings, and I hate it. I hate it because it’s trite and phony since we all try to do things that we hate doing. Stop me if you heard these before.
- Pay my credit card bill on time
- Join a gym
- Find a new job
- Eat quinoa or kale or whatever new super food is trendy this week
- Practice self-care
- Start a journal
Blah blah blah boring. It’s barely to start of a new year and my eyes already rolled out of my skull. Why bother wasting time on boring goals roughly 80% of us statistically fail by February 28th? When I attended grad school, my thesis adviser told me “Choose a thesis topic that you love, because you’re going to hate it by the end. If you choose a topic you hate from the beginning, then you’ll really hate it by the end. So many students drop out during seminar because they loathe their topic and fail to complete the thesis.” Of all the things I learned in grad school, that is one of the two things that stuck with me the most. It applies to my everyday life and goal-setting strategies, especially so with New Year’s Resolutions. I choose goals that support my nerdy passions, and try to approach them responsibly and strategically.
Here are my Nerd Year’s
Resolutions Goals for 2018!
Win a Friday Night Magic draft tournament
I’m sure that this is news to you, but I like to play Magic. Kind of a lot. I like several formats, but one of my favorites is booster draft. In 2017 I posted several second place showings at local draft tournaments, which is nothing to sneeze at because Magic is hard. However, I do not want to settle for silver; I want to win. Draft, like many things, takes practice to improve and that means drafting more. The more drafts I enter, the more likely I improve and increase my win percentage. Unfortunately, that also means more money spent in entrance fees. If budgeting is all I need in order to get more drafts under my belt, then I suppose that’s a fair trade. I can afford to not eat at Chipotle as often as I do.
Yeah, I know. This is one of those blasé goals that everyone does, but this is my article and I have nerdy reasons. Since I turned 30, my metabolism slowed down. Milkshakes and cheeseburgers stick around longer than they used to. With a better diet, I can last longer during MTG events, fuel myself more efficiently during roller derby games, and focus better while writing. It’s not about vanity; I just want to be able to skate for 8 hours at a time or marathon Magic with my friends. If I happen to lose weight, so be it.
Qualify for WFTDA Playoffs
Last year, I was accepted as a referee to the WFTDA Division 2 Playoffs for the first time. It was undoubtedly the best weekend for me in 2017, and the pinnacle of my roller derby career. I want to do it again. Playoffs qualification was my goal as an official since day one. I had such a great time with my crewmates and learned so much at just one tournament. My everything is hungry to go again. There is a lot of time between then and now, and a lot of work to do. I am unafraid of working hard, and resolve to make my best case for the selection committee when I submit my application this year.
Track My Media Consumption
I wrote an article about my podcast listening habits last year and plan to write another about how aggressively I listened to the Dresden Files audiobooks. That got me thinking about how much audio media I consume. I listen to A LOT of podcasts and audiobooks, and I’m quite curious to discover just how much. Starting January 1st, I will keep a log of all my audio media minutes and track them in graphs and stuff because I recently got obsessive about my minutes tracker on Stitcher Radio. Last I checked, I averaged 46-ish minutes per day through the Stitcher app alone. That does not include things I can’t track through Stitcher, like sports radio and audiobooks. My family always asks “How many podcasts do you really listen to?” I want to give them (and myself) an actual number.
I am sure that my editor is over the moon about this resolution. I like writing, and love writing for this website. In the last several months, I haven’t prioritized writing as much as I should. I, just like everyone else in the world, have a book that I want to write and it is yet unwritten. A comics writer/artist once told me that creation is like showering: if you don’t do it every day, you’ll stink. I haven’t given myself or my craft the due diligence it deserves. Starting in the new year, I will make a concerted effort to write on an increased and consistent basis. Writing is something that’s been a part of my life for a long time, and I don’t want to let an old flame die.
As a corollary to this goal, I set up a bullet journal to keep myself accountable. My flighty, chaotic mind generally dislikes structure, and the idea of a planner/journal/to-do list/whatever I want it to be appeals to me. Since grade school, structured planners never worked for me. The bullet journal system encourages physically writing and puts me in a frame of mind to focus on my writing process. Hopefully, this proves to be sustainable and keeps the pen in my hand throughout the whole year.
To The Readers!
Do you have a nerdy New Year’s Resolution to share? Do you plan to make that jump to Platinum on competitive Overwatch? Maybe watch every episode of every Star Trek TV show? Finish that handmade Wonder Woman cosplay you started? Let us know in the comments section, on our Facebook page, or on my Twitter!
Dante is the resident comic book savant of The Geek Embassy. He’s been reading comics for as long as he can remember, and now that he’s a librarian he gets to advocate for comics in libraries and get paid for it. He’s also a tabletop gaming fan, especially those that involve cards, with favorites including Sentinels of the Multiverse, Magic: The Gathering, Bang!, Smash Up, Star Realms, and 7 Wonders. Dante is a library professional at Portland Community College in Hillsboro, OR.